29 Plays Later
The 29 Plays Later challenge was a writing challenge offered by the Literal Challenge in February of 2020. For a small fee, and a chance at some reimbursement if you complete the challenge, they would send you one prompt a day during the month. You would have 24 hours to complete a play around that prompt. I absolutely loved this challenge and two of my projects went onto being produced. It was an absolute nightmare during some moments but completely worth it. Find out why below!
"“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
― Hamlet Act I Scene III
"Don't be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value."
Scarlet: Black Box Grant
Scarlet is beautiful show written by Sam H. Freeman about a woman facing the fallout of her sexual assault during the age of social media. However, this show requires four actresses to play the character instead of one. It deals with online bullying, revenge pornography and isolation from friends and family. The process was very unique from the moment my grant got approved. One thing in particular is I had to jump through many hoops to gain the rights to the performance, going as far as contacting the playwright directly. However, despite our obstacles the play won two awards at the SUU Theatre Arts and Dance awards; Best Independent Production and Best Student Director.
Romanian Cultural Exchange
In March of 2019, 5 other students and myself conducted a cultural exchange with Southern Utah University’s sister school in Cluj, Romania at Babeș-Bolyai University. We met with their graduating theatre class and participated in talk backs about the differences between American and Romanian theatre. We were able to watch two productions done by each of the graduating classes, observed a class, and participated in a workshop they prepared for our visit. We closed the experience by performing Arthur Miller’s The Last Yankee on the final day.
"O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!"
- Henry V Prologue
Utah Shakespeare Festival Fellowship
In the summer of 2018 I was cast as a member of the 2018 acting company at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in partnership with Southern Utah University. Students auditioned the previous fall for consideration and I, with only four other students, was chosen to receive the acting fellowship with the festival for the 2018 season. I was cast in two separate productions, The Merchant of Venice and Henry VI Part One. During these productions I was able to work alongside professionals in the field and learn from some amazing directors, Melinda Pfundstein (Merchant of Venice) and Henry Woronicz (Henry VI Part One).
I also assisted in creating a R.E.A.C.H. fundraiser with the other fellowship actors, "Send A Flower To Your Favorite Actor". We were able to assist in raising enough money to bring over 40 artistic directors and casting agents to USF to audition the acting company.
During my fellowship I also participated in a Stage Combat certification class taught by Geoffrey Kent (SAFD). This class focused on Single-Sword and Hand-To-Hand combat. I received my certification in both areas.
Photo: Rehearsal of Merchant of Venice at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Pictured from Left to Right; Jamil Zraikat, Betsy Mugavero, Chad Henwood, Melinda Pfundstein. Photo Credit; Utah Shakespeare Festival.
Undergraduate Teaching in Human Anatomy
During my time at Snow College when I was still working towards a degree in Biology, I was selected to be part of a dissection team for the new cadavers coming into the college. I was then selected by my team to lead the group dissections. With only a lab manual, we dissected the face and head and prepared the body for examination for the upcoming anatomy courses. This was all done on our own time outside of regular classroom hours.
We were selected as teaching assistants due to our strong academic standing, passion for human anatomy and dedication to the practice.
Photo taken outside of the (old) science building at Snow College.